Archive: Marvin

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Blondie, 2/20/17

The Singularity is a sci-fi idea that’s bled over into futurist circles (or maybe vice-versa, I can’t remember). Basically, it’s a prediction based on the increasing rate of technological change: someone who lived in, say 100,000 BC would feel right at home in 10,000 BC, and even someone from 200 AD would be able to understand the world of 1200 AD pretty easily. But around the time of the industrial revolution, new technologies started emerging and changing society fast enough that we could see their impacts within a human lifetime, and the rate of change is increasing in disorienting ways. The Singularity is the moment when the graph spikes to infinity, when tech changes so quickly that it’s impossible for us today to understand what our society on the other side of it would look like. Maybe our minds will transcend our physical existence, or maybe we’ll be wiped out by the superintelligent machines we create. A lot of critics have poked holes in the theory, calling it “the rapture of the nerds,” and I tend to agree with them, but you can really see the underlying mechanism at work in this strip. You can tell that the idea is “it’s fun to have children tell jokes about new-fangled technology,” and the writer thinks mass emails are a new-fangled technology. Simple, right? Just nobody tell him that no eight-year-old has ever used email in their life. They’re all on … YikYak now? Is that right? Kids love YikYak?

Family Circus, 2/20/17

I guess the joke here is that … sometimes driver’s license photos are out of date? Like, probably Thel’s was taken before any of her kids were born? And they think that’s funny? Honestly the real lesson here is that these poor children, cloistered behind the barbed-wire-topped walls of the Keane Kompound, are desperately starved for any form of entertainment.

Dick Tracy, 2/20/17

Last week as Dick and the Spirit got ready to head into battle, our masked guest star demurred when Dick offered him a gun. Bad choice, Spirit! You’re over there spending all this energy wresting a bad guy to the ground while Dick just up and shot the Brush in the face!

Marvin, 2/20/17

Ha ha, it’s funny because Marvin is smug about sitting out in the snow with a diaper full of frozen urine! Jokes on you, kid: notice how we don’t see your parents anywhere? That’s because they’ve left you out there in the cold, to die!

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Slylock Fox, 2/13/17

I can’t remember where I read it now, but there’s a line in a review of Rogue One that I liked, discussing Darth Vader’s appearance. This is the first film where David Prowse didn’t play the body of the character, and the reviewer said that in the new movie Spencer Wilding, the new actor, looked and moved differently, so “he just looked to me like a guy in a Darth Vader costume, which, I suppose, is what he was.” Don’t we all, in essence, play-act the roles in life we aim to inhabit, uncertain of when the moment will come when we finally make them our own? And isn’t this made more difficult when someone else is so strongly associated with the job? It might’ve been the dogs, with nostalgia for their now vanquished nemeses, who explained to the other animals the utility of the postal service after the beasts took over; and, like all the creatures trying to ape the infrastructure of human society, this mailbear is doing the best he can. But it’s his hesitancy, his sense that he’s not really a postal worker, that he’s just a bear wearing an XXL uniform torn off a long-ago-eviscerated H. sapiens letter carrier, that Shady Shrew is exploiting here. Who’s to say that he isn’t in disguise, after all? Who’s to say that they aren’t all going through a vaguely absurd pantomime of their vanquished betters, with their bowler caps and trench coats and magnifying glasses?

Dick Tracy, 2/13/17

Meanwhile, over at Dick Tracy’s heist plot, the Brush, a man with a freakish shock of hair coming down from his forehead and completely covering his face, is about to change out of his landscaper’s uniform and into a security guard’s uniform, two disguises that will definitely let him blend in undetectably and not draw any attention to himself whatsoever.

Dennis the Menace, 2/13/17

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mr. Wilson is planning to murder Dennis — he’s old, he’s lived a long life and there isn’t much left to it, prison and the electric chair don’t scare him, etc. — but it’s pretty shocking to see him admit it so openly to his wife.

Marvin, 2/13/17

I spend a lot of time grappling with the horror of Marvin’ endless poop jokes, but it’s only with today’s strip that I feel like I get the rationale behind them: apparently they’re part of some misguided Freudian belief that we’d all be better adjusted if we didn’t have to obey society’s oppressive rules about going to the bathroom in a toilet and just, like, shat whenever, man, you’re not the boss of me and my gastrointestinal tract.

Pluggers, 2/13/17

Pluggers’ dreams of a sex-robot companion became a lot more attainable once they realized that due to their age and general physical decrepitude they had lost interest in sex a long time ago.

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Marvin, 1/25/17

This comic about how Mavin’s dad Jeff is getting lavishly praised for using his well-outfitted kitchen to create palatable food is a little undermined by the fact that the food depicted is one of the most disgusting entrees I’ve ever seen in the comics, and I read Mary Worth daily. “I can’t believe you made this!” exclaims Jeff’s mother-in-law, and it’s true, it’s hard to believe that anyone would present a writhing mass of sheet-white tentacles topped with a viscous blob of ink-black goo to his family and expect them to eat it. “And you didn’t even burn anything!” his father-in-law adds, perhaps unaware that this awful feast absorbs all heat energy without getting any warmer, because it was forged in the infinitely hot bowels of hell.

Anyway, the “punchline” here is that Jeff, a man, has managed to produce an unburnt meal, in contrast with the typical efforts of his wife, Jenny, a woman. As a result, Jeff will take on family cooking duties from now on, since he’s clearly better suited for them will hold this over Jenny in their long-running marital oneupmanship, forever.

Gil Thorp, 1/25/17

Oops, it only took a day to solve the mystery: Aaron Aargard is terribly inconsistent because his mother (?) won’t come see him play, because she has the vapors or something. It’s enough to drive anyone into the welcoming arms of electronic dance music, and maybe drugs!